Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Year-end wrap up, part 2 of 3 (or 4)

Back in June I saw some dredging work going on at the boat ramp at the mouth of the Guyandotte River here in Huntington. Here are some photos of that work.

The crane operator is Craig Boyd.

These two on deck are William "B.J." Smith and Dave Pauley.

The woman on the left is Rebecca Boone Rebekah Booton-Cost, site inspector for the Army Corps of Engineers.

My thanks to Brian Patterson of Amherst Madison for the photo IDs.

The dredging work was done by Amherst Madison for the Corps. Patterson tells me this is the last dredging work that will be done at this boat ramp, as another will be built at the park there next to the bridge crossing the Ohio River.

Last year, someone in the know in Huntington told me the new ramp will be of the self-cleaning variety. That's the kind with concrete walls extending out into the river. The walls have holes in them to allow the river current itself to clean out the sediment when the water is up.

That project is the responsibility of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. I tried contacting the DNR a couple of times last year about the status of this project, but I never heard back from them. That usually means something.

My contact in Huntington told me the old ramp will remain open for kayakers, canoeists and other people who launch smaller boats, while the new one will be the launch site for larger boats.

River news update

A quick roundup of Ohio River-related news from throughout the valley:

People in the Evansville area hope 2018 is the year that progress is made on getting a new bridge across the Ohio. Just getting a final decision on the bridge's location could take two years. But when you're spending hundreds of millions of dollars and you're dealing with several federal and state agencies, things take time.

Meanwhile, construction could begin in 2018 on a new bridge at Wellsburg, W.Va. It will be the second network tied arch design over the Ohio. The first was the Blennerhassett Bridge below Parkersburg, W.Va. The new Wellsburg bridge will be the first "basket handle" design over the Ohio. The bridge deck will be suspended from arches that incline toward each other rather than stand vertically.

Illustration courtesy WV Division of Highways.

Tolls from the new bridges in Louisville brought in more money this year than expected. I'm not a fan of tolls, but when big bridges in big cities cost big money — $1 billion or more — something has to give.

And although it's not along the river itself, some river communities in the Ashland, Ky., area should benefit with the upcoming construction of a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill by Braidy Industries near Ashland. An article in Kentucky Today has the details.